Zillow Partnership Platform: Designed for Shared Interests

When I joined Zillow in March, my primary assignment was building bridges to the MLS and broker communities – talk with them and help them understand what Zillow is all about and more importantly how we can be better partners in the real estate space.  What I found very quickly was there were three things we needed to work on as the policies we had in place were:

  1. Not known to the brokers and agents they were intended to help, or
  2. Very misunderstood by that same audience, or
  3. Major concerns of brokers and MLSs could be better addressed and discussed in a more collaborative environment

I also found that many of the misconceptions about Zillow had become urban legend, accepted as fact merely by token of being repeated so frequently without rebuttal or correction.

We are now unveiling what I think will be a giant step toward correcting those issues.  We are introducing the Zillow Partnership Platform (ZPP), an invitation from Zillow to its industry partners (both present and future) to clearly define in a written covenant the commitment Zillow is prepared to make to any party that wishes to participate.  The ZPP creates mutual benefit for all parties.

What is Zillow Partnership Platform?

ZPP is a foundational approach to listing display management created by a direct contractual relationship between Zillow and the originators (brokers) or keepers (MLSs) of the listing information.  The channel through which the data is delivered is of less importance than the commitment by both parties to work toward a common goal – accurate listing data that serves the consumer well and meets the agents’ needs.  Zillow is committed to that goal and we are looking for partners who share that vision and commitment.

Key Points of ZPP

ZPP starts with Zillow’s commitment to accuracy, completeness and timeliness of the listing data that everyone wants and values, including these major points:

  • Listings will be updated as frequently as the broker or MLS partner allows
  • Listings are published ONLY on the Yahoo!-Zillow Real Estate Network and displayed ONLY on the websites Zillow powers
  • Listing data are NEVER re-distributed elsewhere
  • Registered agents are given attribution and receive inquiries on their listings at no cost
  • Zillow will honor any broker’s opt-out decision

The Ultimate Goal

Frankly, agents and consumers expect Zillow to work with the MLS and its brokers to deliver a true picture of the market.  Toward that end, ZPP strives to eliminate the confusion associated with stale data, lagging price changes, and incorrect statuses.  But we can only do that by getting listing updates from the most reliable curated source in near real time.  That’s our goal with ZPP.

There are many more commitments Zillow is offering to make to its partners as part of their participation in the program and delivery of contemporaneous listing updates to Zillow.  Zillow Partnership Platform details are here for all to see.  If you would like to discuss how your brokerage or MLS can participate in the program, please contact me directly by writing to partners@zillow.com and let’s find a time to talk.